SAN DIEGO — Librede, a synthetic biology company based in Southern California, has been granted a new patent to produce tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) in yeast. THCA is the precursor to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most well-known cannabinoid; THC has been an FDA approved pharmaceutical compound for decades (a.k.a. dronabinol). The cannabis plant does not produce THC; instead it produces THCA, which is converted to THC by various methods such as heating. The patent issued to Librede shows a process for producing THCA via fermentation using baker’s yeast and low-cost feedstocks. This patent is one of many that Librede has been awarded surrounding the full biosynthesis of cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and now THC. Librede plans to continue to expand on its IP portfolio and increase production.
Dr. Anthony Farina, Librede’s Chief Scientific Officer, states: “We have been working on laying the foundation for a new chemical platform that will gain access to high value natural products. This new patent, which adds to our portfolio, demonstrates that THCA can be made using yeast, allowing for highly pure and consistent therapeutics to be produced at lower costs. We are working hard to improve the efficiency of our system to streamline the production of these compounds.”
Biosynthesis of high value complex natural products offers several advantages over agricultural production such as: consistency, supply chain stability, large reductions in costs, and reduced carbon footprint (less land, water, energy, no fertilizers, and no pesticides). The ability to obtain highly pure compounds in an environmentally and economically sustainable fashion is at the core of Librede’s mission.
Dr. Jason Poulos, CEO of Librede, explains: “Natural products have been and will continue to be a source of valuable therapeutics. Nature is the source, but it is not a sustainable factory. Large scale agricultural production of low abundant chemicals can have negative effects on the environment. Instead of using natural resources to grow massive fields of cannabis to make cannabinoids, fermentation offers us a sustainable solution. The future of cannabinoid production is coming into focus, and it’s looking more and more like a brewery.”
Librede is a synthetic biology company that uses biologically-based
approaches to produce natural products with a focus on cannabinoids.